tv Your Business MSNBC December 13, 2009 7:30am-8:00am EST
will work with congress to pass one. >> another incentive also being discussed is a payroll tax holida holiday. >> with so many people looking for work right now, buy nothing a franchise might be a viable option. despite the economic downturn, some entrepreneurs are look at franchising as a way to expand business. one business owner says the time is right for him, and he believes he has a sweet recipe for success. >> welcome to the chocolate bar. how are you guys doing tonight? ♪ >> i walked into this space and i -- it immediately registered and resonated with me this is pretty unique. >> the chocolate bar is absolutely something good. >> i think i hit it out of the park. >> william panzeka has quite the following for his bar and restaurant in buffalo, new york. he says business at the chocolate bar has exploded.
>> since our opening we have done a little over $1 million. it's grown every year this year we're up about 15%. >> may be hard to believe business is up in a down economy, but panzica says his customers have not given up. >> hasn't hurt our business. i think partly because this area is still willing to go out and spend some money for a night on the town or to have a drink. >> reporter: as the name implies, the chocolate bar has some sweet entries on the menu. >> we have chocolate pasta, chocolate drinks with alcohol and without alcohol. >> some of the drinks include the cocoa puff and a chocolate cream pie martini. >> i made all these drinks to taste like dessert. i wanted them to taste like there wasn't much alcohol in them. >> and, y the customers love to indulge in all these delicacies. >> someone described our white chocolate pasta as sex on a noodle a few weeks ago.
>> with reviews like that, panzica is hoping long lines and revenue will follow the brand. with a klee eye on expansion, despite the downturn, he is franchising the chocolate bar. >> i guess i didn't have that hedging or apprehension i should have. but i feel confident. i think our idea and concept is brilliant. i think it's really cool. i'm very proud of what we have put together. >> franchisees pay an additional 4% in sales and 1% for advertising. panzica got off to a surprising start. by the time the chocolate bar was registered, deal number one was done. >> august 21st was the day we signed our agreement for our franchise in cleveland. >> while business owners talk to panzica, he settled on a spot three hours down the interstate with joe novak and his wife, tammy gunyan novak.
the pair know they wanted in after their first taste. >> we walked into the chocolate bar and couldn't stop observing the phenomenon that was going on. there were several people there. it was absolutely just incredible. >> owned the menu, saw nothing over $10. no burgers. no wings. and i said this will work. >> even though the novaks thought about starting their own eatery, there was a certain amount of security in following panzica's lead it took the uncertainty out of getting started. >> we felt bill did a phenomenal job with his and that it would be easier for us to be successful sooner by modeling something that's been proven to work. >> while the novaks have no doubts about their decision to be the first chocolate bar franchise, the economy is something they simply can't ignore. some people have been pretty blunt with their opinions. but that's not stopping the novaks from opening their doors. >> i personally had a lot of
friends look at me and tell me i'm crazy. during this time nobody is spending money. but if you go out, everybody is spending money. and i think that everybody will have some room in their budget for some type of entertainment. >> let's face it, when you have most everything on the menu under $10, you are not fighting that $30, $35 entry negativism. >> while the price also remain the same, the novaks are not following the chocolate bar operations manual to a t. all involved have agreed even a successful business model may need some adjusting. >> bill has given us the liberty to go outside the box, recognizing what works in buffalo may not always work in the cleveland market. >> the novak also continue to rely on panzica's advice, it's not just because it's their first restaurant either, it's all part of the deal. >> we pay for that expertise. >> i will do whatever i can to help them. their success is our success. >> and success is what everyone
expects, even when getting started in an economic downturn. >> we have a lot of new entrepreneurs that are taking a risk at opening up during the recession time. and have proven to be successful. we want to be part of the action. so how do you know if franchising is right for your business and what is the franchising outlook for 2010? let's turn to this week's board of directors to ask them. matt shea, david anderson of learn to lead, and jeffrey carr from the berkeley center for entrepreneurial studies at new york university's stern school of business. great to see all of you again. >> thank you. >> so, matt, even with this economy, is franchising alive and well? >> yes. franchising is definitely alive and well and continues to
perform, we think, better than the rest of the market. the challenge for entrepreneurs in this market is access to credit. that was the case last year. we have concluded this based on a study we released a week ago that there will continue to be a significant challenge for entrepreneurs, accessing credit. in spite of that our members remain relatively optimistic about next year. and i think that really speaks to the strength of the franchise business model. as you saw in that opening segment, the ability to rely on someone else's expertise to get your business off the ground. >> so we will do this in two-ways, looking at it from both sides. first from the small business owner. you think you have a good concept, you have proven it. you have the skills you think to manage, which a bunch of franchisees which is different than running your own store. is this a good time to branch out? >> i think it is. if you have a concept that can be franchised, if you are the small business owner, and you
have a concept that's replica replicatib replicatible, this is a good time. if you are looking for an investment opportunity as a franchisee, and you find that concept that you think you have passion for and you think your personality is suited to operate a business, this is a terrific time. >> jeff, i want to ask you about that. a lot of people are losing their jobs now. a lot of people want to be in business for themselves what kinds of things should you ask yourself before looking through the directory of franchises you can get? two things for me. first one we touched on, you will buy franchise where the expertise that has been developed and proven is available to you. number two, this has somewhat do with when you get in on the franchise, but a franchise by definition means it immediately provides access to a marketplace. so people who are familiar with a name and brand, in the beginning that's not the case. but you want to buy a franchise where you believe there will be leverage in the future where the brand will build that builds the
demand for your product. >> what are the risks, dave? seems easy. chocolate bar is doing great there. why don't i open one up. >> the risk now is can you get the financing. franchise is less downside for margin for error because you are buying proven strategies and products. jeff said find something that you're interested in and passionate about. over 2,500 companies franchise. there are 400,000 franchises and a new one opening up every eight minutes. find something you have a passion for and do well at. get something you hopefully have expertise in. >> matt, one thing that was interested, they ended up working with a cup whole lives three hours away. to me that seems smart for your first franchise. >> well, you know, again, if it's a concept that can be replicated in another market, geography shouldn't be an issue. whether you are in connecticut or california, the key to the franchise is the business plan that's been created by that
franchi franchiseer, and what he offers in the way of vault yew for that investment is the opportunity to take that business plan and transport it to another market and then to deliver that product or service in a consistent and uniform way. >> if you are going to test it for your first time, it plight be nice to drive there, check in on them, see how things are going, give some tips. >> yeah. that's definitely true. for this franchiser, his first f foray was not too far away. some might argue there's a difference between the browns and the bills, burr the consumer markets are probably similar that did make sense. >> matt shay, thank you for coming on the program. >> you're welcome. nice to be back with you. >> the holidays can bring a certain amount of anxiety when it comes to gift-giving, but thanking the people that mean the most to your business doesn't have to be hard. red envelope has plenty of budget conscious gifts for
people who make your business work each and every day of the year. jacqueline adler, red envelope's gift expert is here. thank you for being here let's start with these. this is the fleece travel set. it's super soft. compact so it fits a blanket and a pillow. and it's personalizible. >> that's great. >> obviously it comes in all different colors. how much is this? >> this is 29.95. great price point. >> what do we have down here? >> we have the digital brown book. what i love about this, you can upload up to 2,000 photos on to it whether you are traveling on business, putting in extra hours at the office, you can always have a piece of home with you. >> you know what's fun? if you gave this to employees, you could load it up with pictures of your company picnic. >> co-workers, friends, family, everyone. >> then we have these bags. i love these kinds of bags. >> the enviro-sacks smart bag
comes in a set of five stylish bags that are lightweight and you can throw them into a glove co compartment or purse. >> and how much? >> 39.95 for five styles. >> you can divide them up. >> absolutely, sure. >> and this here. >> is the braden money tree it is a very popular gift. it is good to give to employees. they can put it on their desk and easy to take care of. >> money tree. >> money tree. in asian cultures the money tree symbolizes good fortune. so maybe put them around your office. >> you want these your office. >> down here. >> these are fun to give. recycled lp costers. it comes in a set of six. what's so unique is not one set of six is the same as another set of six. so you can give them to your customers and someone might get bruce springsteen, or barry manilow, and then someone else
might get the jackson or the beatles a fun gift. >> and original. >> exactly. and people can trade them. >> going back to your employees, this seems like a good gift if you have a special employee. this business card holder. >> exactly. business card case is a classic gift. you can't go wrong with it. but what i love about this one here is that you can deboss it with three initials it is going back to personalizing the gift. >> okay this may be -- maybe you did a big deal with the customer. >> a great way to toast to a deal or toast to the new year. comes with a set of four champagne flutes, and cheers is written on the front of them in four different languages, french, german, italian and english. and combine it with a bottle of champagne. >> perfect. >> no one is going to say this is a bad idea. >> yes. there is nothing like a delicious gift, that's for sure. these come with 12 cupcakes, three assorted flavors. so you get vanilla bean, red
velvet and chocolate. everyone loves the chocolate. >> this is something you can give to a whole office, thank tout whole office of customers. >> it's perfect for that when we get them into the office, they're gone within five seconds. >> and let's admit there was one more before the segment started. >> i know. everyone was wanting them this looks a bit more expensive. >> this here for 49.95 is our seven-in-one game. you can find all your favorite games in here, whether you love checkers, chess, it's a great value forty-sevenen games in one. >> maybe -- that's a nice gift for your partner even. >> exactly. this year we are finding people want to stay home, be entertained for a low cost. >> all right. jacqueline, these were fantastic ideas. thank you very much for coming on and bringing them. >> thank you very much for having me. >> appreciate it. time to answer some of your business questions. the first one comes from the owner of a health and beauty
firm. >> i want to know what the three most important components of my new website should be in order to promote my cosmetics and skin care and my image consulting and styling packages. >> i will let you take this, dave. >> i think any website right now you need good text descriptions of what you are doing. we have gotten carried away with java script and flash, it's not compatible and people move on to something else. >> so good text. good navigation. you have to be looking like you're easy do business with. easy to find your way around. easy to get from one place to the next. it's essential that you have good navigation. and third, an add value free something. free advice, tips. something that people will look at you more as a resource or vendor. that's what i would recommend. >> anything to add? >> i would just reinforce the issue of the navigation and argue that it needs to come from
a customer's perspective. you have to understand why your customers may be going to the site and what they're looking for. for me it's also a branding issue. you have to understand that for a lot of customers the look and feel of the site is a primary visual and experiential aspect of what it is that you stand for. you need to be careful that it fits into your brand image. >> make it clear and make sure they know who they're looking at when they get to the site. okay. let's go to the next one this is a question from brenda. she owns a store that sells over a dozen body fragrances that are created inhouse. she write where is interested in becoming a fragrance house as we have also designed several fragrances for individuals. we seek to partner with someone who can help us market and distribute our blends on a national level. interesting question. a lot of people are in this situation. stle this great idea. they don't know thousand grow it. >> i'm not sure how to answer her question as far as finding a particular specific partner or investor, but i think that industries like the cosmetics
and large retail side of it is ripe for what i would describe as guerrilla marketing. there are creative ways in terms of finding the buyers, but do you it from a sampling aspect. you find them in other situations, invite them in. there has to be and have to be more activities around, as she's pointed out, the normal distribution channels. >> you are saying maybe she doesn't need a partner? utilize the internet and social media? >> i love samples. i love throwing out things. i think you get people to use things. it is back to dave's previous comment about free value delivered it goes a long way. >> what do you think? >> if you have a niche, which they seem to, pair with somebody that's something that you are not if you are going to look for a partner. partner and investors are two separate things. it may be someone who already has in-roads that is looking for something that they're not. something that would add value to their offering. and the old stand-byes,
manufacturing reps that will find these places force you and charge a commission. you have to give up a little to get in there. >> okay. or sales people. going to the next question. this is from the owner of a design service firm. >> what is the best way to get my product in front of buyers of large retail chains other than using the traditional methods such as exhibiting at a trade show or cold-calling or using manufacturing sales reps? >> okay. so, something completely out of the box. cold-calling, we had so many people on the show that said i called, they said, you know, they wouldn't pick up the phone. i called, i called, a year later i'm selling my product there. he doesn't want that. >> without cold calling and trade shows and manufacturing reps, you are looking for the cheap, easy way do it. there is a terrific website called turner marketing group that has guerrilla tactic force getting in front of large companies. it helps if it's a woman-owned
these people like diversity. researching a little bit, getting out of the box, away from some of the standard activities, a lot of information on the web on how to do that. >> there's ways to do special events, create a event around whatever the product or service is that is ancillary to it and make it an event where it's by invitation only. separate and distinct from the normal way but might create excitement and also demonstrates some effort and commitment that you have to get to them and makes them feel a little special. >> camping out, outside the house of the buyer. >> i'm all in favor of crazy. just need to do some things. >> all right. thanks so much for your advice today. stick around because we're going to have you back fort elevator pinch a little later on. >> great. >> if any of you have a question for our experts just go to our website, our address is yourbusiness.msnbc.com. hit the contact us link to submit a question for our panel. go to yourbusiness.msnbc.com.
now that we've heard from our experts let's get some sur vooig vival tips from small business owners just like you. >> most small business owners have a passion for their product or service. so i would highly recommend that you also are really good about researching your competition and really understanding your marketplace, even though you have a passion for your business that's not enough. >> network, network, network. it's important to get out there, as small business owners, it's important to make connections and contacts. so i try to attend every industry trade show that there is out there. >> since the economy has tanked recently, many people have lost huge amounts of their portfolio and they need a lot of personalized care. so my advice would be, to be very empathetic toward all of your clients. >> there's more great small business advice coming your way. up next, we've got tips for generating repeat business. and from ho, ho, to yo hoho.
today's pictures walk the plank to see if they're interested on taking a ride on their pirate ship. during times like these it seems like the world will never be the same. but there is a light beginning to shine again. the spark began where it always begins. at a restaurant downtown. in a shop on main street. a factory around the corner. entrepreneurs like these are the most powerful force in the economy. they drive change and they'll relentless push their businesses to innovate and connect. as we look to the future, they'll be there ahead of us, lights on, showing us the way forward. this is just the beginning
of the reinvention of business. and while we're sure we don't know all the answers, we do know one thing for certain, we want to help. come see what the beginning looks like at openforum.com bringing in new business is important but how do you make sure that those customers then keep coming back to you? here are five tips on how to generate repeat business courtesy of entrepreneur.com. number one, loyalty programs. create a loyalty program and reward frequent customers with discounts or special sales. two, keep in touch. follow up with people after the point of sale and find out what they think about your product or
service. three, rewards for referrals. offer incentives to customers who refer your business to their friends. four, coupons. you can cost effectively get the word out about sales promotions through your website and periodic e-mail blasts. and number five, free giveaways. everyone likes getting something for free. so throw in a small sample of an additional product or service as a way to promote your business. tampa bay isn't the only city with buccaneers, today's elevator pictures sail the high seas of baltimore with their pirate ship adventure cruise. let's see how they do with our elevator pitch panel. >> hi, i'm lauren bowling co-owner of urban pirates. >> would you like to go on an adventure? we've created urban pirates a unique family experience that creates lasting memories. aye. >> well, we have hour long, hour and a half long actually,
interactive cruises aboard our 52 foot custom built pirate ship in baltimore with professional actors and tested scripts and on top of family enten a minute we offer adult cruises, story times and even weddings. >> as moms my partner and i started urban pirates to provide families with amazing affordable entertainment in baltimore. we are a proven success and expanding our brand. we're asking $250,000 to $500,000 to increase our campaigns to move into franchising our product. we -- you can expect a 10% to 20% be ori and be fearless pirates with us as we make urban pirates a nationwide attraction. >> what i love about this elevator pitch the juxtaposition of you guys and you guys. >> they wore their nicest suit to the beach. >> ready to hop on the boat. good job. let's hear what our panel thinks. how did they do? >> i think you have a viable business, totally passionate and
enthuseassic about this, your returns a are little low. look at the stock market, it's up 30%, hard to believe, but if you're going to ask for an individual investors they're going to be looking for returns that are higher than that. i think if you put it within the context of how much money you can make through the franchising or go to new york harbor or boston harbor and find more ways to grow it it would be more compelling. >> you think the fact that he walked through the streets of new york city like this. >> and lived to tell the tale. >> first of all i like you and i like your concept and if you were in my area, i would use your service. i understand your sales have gone up last year in a downturn so that would make me want to have another meeting with you, know more about your profitability. it's nice to have fun but we have to make money, i want to know more about that. i would have another meeting and you would fit in l.a. where my offices are. >> so you answer the question, you would take another meeting. how about you, jeff? >> i'm not sure here within my investment portfolio i could do
that. i would probably have someone interested. >> would you go on the ship? >> absolute sfli drink rum on the adult ones. >> alcohol always works with me. >> thanks for coming on the program. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and thank you, guys, so much for stepping on our shores for a minute. >> as always. >> if any of you have a product or a service and you want feedback from our elevator pitch panel on your chances of getting interested investors, send us an e-mail. the address is yourbusiness at msnbc.com. please include a short summary of what your company does, how much money you're trying to raise and what you intend to do with that money and you never know, somebody watching the show may be interested in helping you. with technology changing so rapidly, how do you keep up with the latest trends? our website of the week can help you. the soho tools and technology blog on sparkplugging.com provides techniques for
entrepreneurs, check out gadgets that boost productivity, manage your business at home and balance work and home life and subscribe to the site and receive free updates via e-mail. to learn more about today's show, click on our website, it's yourbusiness.msnbc.com. you'll find all of today's segments plus web exclusive content with more information to help your business grow. next week, 2009 was a rollercoaster year for small business owners. with issues like a new administration, health care reform and, of course, the credit crunch. we'll look back at the biggest small business stories of the year and we'll check in with our roundtable to find out what's in store for 2010. until then, i'm j.j. ramberg. remember we make your business our business. i'm katrina markoff, owner of vosges haut chocolates.
we combine chocolate with exotic roots, flowers and spices to create tastes that tell cultural stories. but in today's economy, how do you run a business that's about indulgence, - yet maintain fiscal responsibility? - ( cash register bell dings ) selling prospective clients can require more than truffles with hungarian paprika to seal the deal. so to make every dollar we spend do the most for us, we use our american express open charge card. it's the card that understands what my business needs. we use membership rewards points to visit clients and vendors all over the world. and we rely on open's concierge service to get our clients into the top hotels and restaurants. which makes us look pretty sweet. when you're selling exotic chocolates, having a card you can count on isn't a luxury. it's a necessity. announcer: today how you run your business is anything but typical. so use the card that isn't your typical credit card. the american express open charge card. to see what an open charge card can do for your business, visit open.com/yourbiz or call 888-550-open.
right now on "msnbc sunday" race against time. a search under way for hikers missing on mount hood. the tiger effect, more fallout after tiger woods leaves the game of golf, at least for now. what will the sponsors do next? christmas at the white house. the president and first lady talk about the holiday season and their favorite gifts of all time. plus -- ♪ >> a classic already, the year in viral videos, "time" magazine counts down the top ten. we'll bring them to you. good morning. i'm alex witt. welcome to "msnbc sunday." a christmas mystery that came in the form of a letter it's a great story. new fallout from tiger woods' announcement he is
leaving professional goofl for an indefinite amount of time. the ripple effects are still being felt today. and my colleague, john yang is joining me with the latest details. good morning, john. >> good morning, alex. tiger woods does have a unique impact on the golf viewership, it even has its own name, called the tiger effect. he is, after all, not only the world's most famous athlete but the most bankable. tiger's announcement he is leaving the game is sending alarm through television networks, corporate sponsors and pga executives. today we're learning the decision will have the most immediate impact on the pga tour, which begins its new season next month. it already has 33 tournaments scheduled for network television next year, including here on nbc sports and another on the golf channel. the golf xanl is owned by comcast in the process of buying nbc universal. some golf experts speculate the pga is really worried. why? the ratings for the games that tiger missed in 2008 while recovering from knee surgery were down 47%.